My vegetarian stretching discovered its exact limit and that is the brain of a pig. I was fine all through cheap hotpot with Xiao Meng, her brother, cousin and one of their friends. I watched the congealed duck blood get slid into the spicy broth. I avoided the fish gut slime deftly. I even laughed (to myself) about the pig brain when it was sitting uncooked in front of Holly, and when she tried to cut it into manageable chunks. It was in the nonspicy broth and I paid it no attention. Holly got a section that neatly lobed off from the rest, which was interesting to see, but then the next section ended up on my plate and I couldn’t eat anything anymore. It was probably supposed to be impressive but I had to fight to keep from vomiting. Man, I’m a lousy Chongqingren.
Earlier that day I’d eaten delicious baozi for lunch then spent the afternoon reading a biography of Jung in various places. One was the apartment, another was the Avant Garde, then Holly arrived and after a while we went to the library. It was immense but wasted a lot of space. The two towers were where the (rigidly defined separated and defended) collections were, while the connecting granite walkways were cold and skylit. We weren’t supposed to be in any of the collections without a library card, which made my public property hackles rise a pile. And my censorship/freedom of information nerves too. But whatever. It’s their city. Fuck the IDless if they want to. We eventually found couch-like things on the main level where it was coldest. Selah.
From there we walked to hotpot and stopped at the foreign language bookstore on the way so Holly could look at HSK materials. There was a children’s book at the bookshop with a wonderful bucolic English riding scene with rosy-cheeked children wearing red riding-coats and black helmets, the whole deal. Inside were English children’s stories for warming the cockles of your heart with the innocence of yesteryear. Story #63 was about three applicants to the CIA who are asked to kill their wives with a provided gun. Two refuse but the third fires all the blanks and then his explanation why it took so long was “So then I had to strangle the bitch!” Incongruous much? We laughed and laughed. They also had a history of the Dalai Lamas which ended in 1958. I really wanted to buy it but didn’t. It was too big and bulky and not uproarious enough for my tastes in propaganda. That evening we finally watched the Darjeeling Limited, which made me ever so happy. It’s so orchestrated. You never feel you’re watching something realbookstore cia dalai lama food holly hotpot library nanjing pig brain the darjeeling limited the hangman xiao meng